Friday, May 23, 2014

the perfect day

There are days as a (part-time) stay at home mom that I watch the clock and count down the minutes until Steve gets home.  Not because I don't like staying home with my kids but because the kids have been crying/fighting/throwing food/not napping/etc. all day and I need a liiiitle break.

Yesterday was not one of those days.  It was the exact opposite.  There were no tantrums, minimal crying and no nap strikes.  So, basically the perfect day and it has to be documented.

Emily woke up in a fantastic mood which usually means everyone else is going to be in a good mood.  If the Queen is happy, everyone is happy.

We went for a long walk,

played in the yet to be planted garden,

chased the dog around the yard,

played peek-a-boo through the huge peonies,

and the best part of the day came after Gavin's nap when he let me cuddle him- this seriously never happens, so I took full advantage.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Somehow I have a 15 month old and a 2.5 year old


Height:  40.3 inches.  This girl takes after her mama and towers over all the kids in her class at daycare. 

Weight:  32 pounds 8 ounces

I'm not even sure where to begin with how awesome she is right now.  She sings, dances, knows her alphabet, counts to 20, knows her right from her left (thanks Grandpa Stan) and she surprises me every day with something  new she knows.  Let's be clear- there are still tantrums but she can be reasoned with pretty easily and that helps a ton.

She hasn't shown any interest whatsoever in potty training and I'm not forcing the issue.

My favorite thing right now:  Her and I sit in her rocker every night before bed and sing the same 4 songs (and they have to be in the same order, of course).  rock a bye baby, twinkle twinkle, you are my sunshine, and hush little baby.  When we are done singing I tell her I love her and then I ask if she loves me.  She always says, "I love you sooooo much and you make me soooooo happy!"  I mean.  It makes me want to cry every night.  And I will be the saddest mom ever when she stops saying this.

I copied Shannon and Kelly and decided to do a survey with her.  I do believe I would get a different answer if I asked her these questions every day.  Oh toddlers.

-  What's your name?  Emily Draff
-  How old are you?  2
-  What is your favorite color?  (looks down at her shirt) White!
-  What is your favorite toy?  I don't know
-  What is your favorite show?  Sheriff Callie  (so true, she is obsessed)
-  What is your favorite fruit?  Red vegetables and I eat apples too (??)
-  What's your favorite lunch?  Chicken noodle soup
-  What's your favorite drink?  Water
-  What's your favorite animal?  Horse (probably because she was playing with a horse)
-  Who is your best friend?  Mommy is!
-  What is your favorite thing to do?  Fall down (um what?)
-  What do you want to be when you grow up?  Flowers
-  What is your favorite thing to wear?  shirt
-  What are your favorite shoes?  Running shoes
-  What is your favorite song?  ABCs
-  What is your favorite book?  Potty Time
-  What is your favorite ice cream?  Strawberry


Height:  33.6 inches

Weight:  26 pounds 14 ounces

Oh G Booty.  As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, Gavin has no fear.  He is obsessed with our animals and with being outside.  Heaven help you if you try to get him to go inside- whoa.  Buddy is strong and he will kick and punch and fight until you get him inside and then he will stand at the door and scream. His teacher at daycare told me yesterday that when they go outside to play he stands in the same spot at the fence and watches the traffic go by the whole time they are outside.  

He has a serious milk addiction and he is a great eater.  His favorite foods right now are cheerios, peas, pears, yogurt, bananas and chicken. 

He loves his dad and his sister so much.  If he wakes up before Emily he runs down the hall to bang on her bedroom door.  He follows her everywhere she goes and wants to be doing what she is doing.

He is finally sleeping through the night (thanks to Vetiver & Lavender essential oils) and he is still taking 2 naps a day. 

My favorite thing right now:  He has such purpose with everything he does.  He walks around like a little man on a mission and with his finger pointed up at the sky.  Such a big personality in our little guy.

I asked Gavin the same survey questions but every answer was a grunt or a point....

Sunday, May 18, 2014


7 years ago (yesterday) my mom passed away.  She left us early in the morning, when no one was around.  I think she did this because she was sure and she was ready and if any of us had been there it would have been harder for her to go.

A few days before my mom died I went to see her at the hospital.  I climbed up on her hospital bed with her and curled into her arms like I was a child again.  I whispered through my tears, "Mom, are you scared?"  She squeezed me close and then pulled back to look into my eyes.  She had so much strength that day and she said clear as day, "Bridgey, life's a bitch and then you die."  We laughed- and now that I think about it, it was for the last time.

The day before she passed I saw her on my lunch break and I told her I would be back after work.  I didn't go back, I called her and let her know I needed to let my puppy out of her crate for a bit and she told me that she would see me tomorrow.  I still carry so much guilt about not going to the hospital one last time. 

When I woke up early the next morning I sat outside on my deck.  The birds were signing, the sun was shining and I felt this strange peace come over me.  I will never forget that feeling or how the wet grass shined in the sun.  An hour later I got the call from my dad that she was gone.  I can only remember flashes of what happened after that.  Nothing seemed real.  It was like walking around in a dream.  How was it possible that my mom was gone and I hadn't gotten to say goodbye?

My mom was an amazing woman.  She could cook like no one else, she could sew, she could make things grow, she was someone you could count on, always.  I wish every day that she was still here to see my kids and give me advice about being a mom.  But I know she's watching over us and I know she taught me how to be a mom just by being a great mom.

It took seven years, but I feel like I have begun to heal.  It has happened in small ways and there are days that I still just want to call her and cry about how hard something is or to share good news with her.  I don't think losing your mom is something you ever "get over".  It's a loss that can't be described.

A few months ago I read the memoir "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail" by Cheryl Strayed.  In a strange way it started my healing.  The author lost her mom and everything she wrote spoke to me and had me in tears because- yes- that's how I feel!

“I didn't get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I'd wished she'd done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could fill. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.”  

“I lay down among the crocuses and told her it was okay. That I'd surrendered. That since she died, everything had changed. Things she couldn't have imagined and wouldn't have guessed. My words came out low and steadfast. I was so sad it felt as if someone were choking me, and yet it seemed my whole life depended on my getting those words out. She would always be my mother, I told her, but I had to go. She wasn't there for me in that flowerbed anymore anyway, I explained. I'd put her somewhere else. The only place I could reach her. In me.”  

Thank you for everything mom.  You are the best of the best.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

15 months post surgery- Gavin

It's hard to believe 15 months have gone by since Gavin was born & had surgery for his Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.  Every time we drive to Children's my stomach turns into a tight knot and I am taken back to the days after he was born when we drove that route two or three times a day to sit at his side while he recovered.

His team of doctors and surgeons were amazing.  His NICU nurses were beyond amazing. When we go to Children's for his appointments there is usually someone who remembers him- this time it was the X-ray technician.  CDH isn't rare but it is fairly uncommon, so they remember Gavin because he was the first case of CDH in 2013 and because his recovery was remarkable.  And unless you see his scars, you would never know he had such a rough start.  He's amazing, he's strong, and he's growing. 

Most babies who are born with CDH are smaller than they should be, their lungs are underdeveloped, there can be heart defects, failure to thrive & developmental delays.  I thank God every day that he answered our prayers when Gavin was only hours old. 

We met with Gavin's surgeon on Monday and it was all good news.  She looked at his chest X-ray, listened to his lungs and said everything looks & sounds great.  Music to my ears.  His ribs do stick out more than normal and when he gets a cold he has wheezing spells that require breathing treatments.  There is always the chance that his hernia could re-open; requiring surgery to repair it again.  But right now, Gavin is doing wonderfully.

Happy 15 month birthday Booty, you are a miracle & we love you so much!